BMW's Ultimate Driving Experience Tour Is Back, Anyone Can Sign Up for Free

BMW Driving Experience 6 photos
Photo: BMW
BMW Ultimate Driving Experience TourBMW Ultimate Driving Experience TourBMW Ultimate Driving Experience TourBMW Ultimate Driving Experience TourBMW Ultimate Driving Experience Tour
BMW has been on a roll in 2024. Its newest 5 Series (G60) may have had a rough debut because of its avant-garde exterior and minimalist interior design, but buyers of pre-2024 model-year rides have been quite content with their cars. The Bavarians are at the top of their game, reliability-wise.
At least, that's what JD Power and Consumer Reports have been telling us. Both organizations recently claimed that BMW is not just a premium-luxury automaker but a marque that makes customers happy, provides dependable four- and six-cylinder powerplants, and has high-quality interiors. It's not what experienced car buyers would have expected to hear, that's for sure!

However, based on personal experience, there's no way I could disagree. With some minor exceptions (like the 2018-2023 X2), most post-2020 BMWs were and remain better than their rivals.

Things might change soon, though! The newest 5 Series introduced more plastic into the cabin, and the all-electric i5 still doesn't have a front trunk (frunk) in 2024. Then, there's the X2, which tries to be a mini-X6. But it rides on massive 21-inch wheels with thin sidewalls. That can compromise the ride quality. It also makes it prone to losing fights with potholes.

But, alas, we digressed too much already. So, the BMW Ultimate Driving Experience! Why should you sign up and clear your schedule for that event?

BMW Ultimate Driving Experience Tour
Photo: BMW

Just do it!

Well, one good reason is because it's completely free. You won't have to pay a dime to test some of the latest vehicles the brand is willing to sacrifice.

At the same time, if you want a particular BMW and show the organizers that you are really interested in buying one, there is a chance that you might receive a special discount. Some previous participants got $1,000 off their next purchase or lease. Fret not; the brand's people won't put any kind of pressure on you to buy a car.

Even though the main appeal of the Ultimate Driving Experience is that you can drive some pricey or very new BMWs, there's another advantage we need to mention: seeing the latest cars in the flesh for free. If you can't participate in any auto shows or don't see yourself attending one in the near future, then BMW's open-to-everyone event brings some of those latest models to you.

This is usually a family-friendly event, so take into account that you can bring your partner and/or kids, and you may meet with people who have done so, too!

However, everyone knows that the fun part is driving. BMW may organize an autocross at most of its events. It is not guaranteed that it will happen everywhere, but the brand representatives will most likely try to set one up.

BMW Ultimate Driving Experience Tour
Photo: BMW

Drive like a pro!

For example, there will be an autocross section at the upcoming Ultimate Driving Experience in North New Jersey. The stars will be the all-new i5 eDrive40 (all-electric, rear-wheel-drive) and the 540i xDrive (gas-powered, all-wheel-drive). All you'll have to do is stick between the cones that delimitate the temporary track. Don't try to speed too much because it could end your driving session early.

Besides having fun at no cost, you can also experience the difference between raw internal combustion engine power and the elegant but instant release of an electric motor's capabilities. Since it's the same car, that will put things into perspective if you're not convinced that EVs are a good alternative.

Do keep in mind that it's possible to see more than two cars ready for the autocross session. You might even drive an i4 or an i7!

The Ultimate Driving Experience in North New Jersey happens between 21 and 24 March and also includes multiple opportunities to ride in an "M-lite" or full-on M car. The M8, the Z4 M40i, and the M240i will be there.

BMW Ultimate Driving Experience Tour
Photo: BMW
There are some limitations, though! While the autocross section of the event is available to anyone over 18 years of age who has a valid driver's license, the M cars are reserved for those who are 25 years of age or older at the time of the event.

Usually, there are some professional drivers available who might take you on a stroll, but don't put too much faith into it. People will want to drive these M and M-lite cars, and there's a time limit. These types of experiences are known as "Street Tours." They start at 8 AM and end around 4:30 PM.

Heads up! You need to arrive half an hour earlier to participate in the autocross session. BMW wants to make sure you're informed and ready before going behind the steering wheel.

2024 BMW Ultimate Driving Experience preliminary calendar

When writing, registrations are open for the North New Jersey event happening at MetLife Stadium.

BMW Ultimate Driving Experience Tour
Photo: BMW
However, BMW has already planned to bring the Ultimate Driving Experience to many Americans. Here's the current schedule:
  • April 5-7 – Monmouth Park, New Jersey;
  • April 12-14 – Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte, North Carolina;
  • April 19-21 – Atlanta Motor Speedway, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • May 3-5 – SeatGeek Stadium, Chicago, Illinois;
  • May 10-12 – Now Arena, Chicago, Illinois;
  • May 17-19 – Derby Lane, Tampa, Florida;
  • June 14-16 – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
  • June 21-23 – Citi Field, Long Island, New York State;
  • August 2-4 – Outlet Collection, Seattle, Washington;
  • September 5-8 – Cow Palace, San Francisco, California;
  • September 20-22 – Phoenix Raceway, Phoenix, Arizona;
  • October 25-27 – NRG Arena, Houston, Texas;
  • November 15-17 – Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida.

Keep in mind that you will have to register for the event closest to you and read the emails BMW will send you. They will contain valuable instructions. Since registration isn't open for all events, you may want to periodically check the Ultimate Driving Experience webpage to learn when it'll be your turn to have fun with BMW's rides.

Also, don't forget that the Bavarians might add or remove events; there's nothing we can do about it. Things sometimes don't have a way of miraculously working out.

Drive safe!
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories